The past week has marked a watershed moment in Russia’s relations with the West – and the United States in particular. In two dramatic, televised moments, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have changed the dynamics between their countries perhaps irrevocably.
Most commentators in the West have focused on Putin’s “trolling” of Biden by dryly – though, according to Putin, unironically – wishing his American counterpart “good health”. This, of course, came after Biden called Putin a “killer”.
But a more careful and complete reading of Putin’s message to the US is necessary to understand how a Russian leader is, finally, ready to tell the US: do not judge us by your claimed standards and do not try to tell us what to do.
Putin has never asserted these propositions so bluntly. And it matters when he does.
The tense test of strength began when Biden was asked about Putin in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos and agreed he was “a killer” and did not have a soul. He also said Putin will “pay a price” for his actions.
Putin then took the unusual step of going on the state broadcaster VGTRK with a prepared five-minute statement in response to Biden.
In an unusually pointed manner, Putin recalled the US history of genocide of its Indigenous people, the cruel experience of slavery, the continuing repression of Black Americans today and the unprovoked US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the second world war.
News Source: Scroll.in